Everyone has weighed in on the Pier replacement except for the Pier itself. So I powered up the boat and headed over to the Pier for a chat.
The sky was vivid blue and the colors of the old inverted pyramid were truly beautiful. It was early and only a few tourists and fishermen had arrived for the day; some runners trotted down the approach.
I motored up slowly, dropped anchor and put out a fishing pole so I would not look insane sitting there talking to a large inverted, inanimate object.
After a few minutes of contemplation I looked at the Pier and said "Hi I'm Doc." Nothing...
Again, "High I'm Doc, I would like to talk to you."
There was some rumbling, sounded a bit like someone clearing their throat.
I ventured on: "I want to talk to you about your replacement - the LENS."
The Pier replied, "I was wondering if anyone would get around to checking with me."
"You know I'm fine. Feeling great. I could use a little sprucing up, but really I'm fine. The problem is with that approach over there. You should probably go talk to him. If he could hold up his end of the deal we wouldn't be in this predicament."
I said, "You know the LENS selection Committee thinks you’re past your prime, old hat, out of date."
The Pier responded, "You know they had some of those meetings out here with me. What was interesting is that was the first time I had seen some of those folks in a long time."
The Pier continued, "It would have been nice if some of my regulars like the guy who shows up several times a week to fish for a few hours, the nice lady who comes regularly to feed the Pelicans, some of my regular diners, the couple who got married out here a while back had been on that committee."
I asked, "What about a new purpose, a new vision, a new image for St. Pete? Something different?"
The Pier, sounding a bit agitated, "So how many other inverted Pyramids are there in the US? "
"I have been here for over 25 years, been through storms and hurricanes, good times and bad times. I don't bother the fish much, In fact they actually like to hang out down there. Do you really think that LENS thing will make it through the first big storm?”
"How do you feel about the public having a vote?" I pressed on.
"Well", the Pier responded, "There are millions and millions of pictures of me all over the world. I been good ambassador for my City and everybody seems to really love me. I trust the folks in my City and I think they know what's best. The boys at City Hall, I'm not so sure about. Whatever the people decide would be fine with me."
"Any final thoughts?", I asked.
The Pier sighed and said, "If they really decide to replace me, I hope they don't blow me up for some movie, or haul me away on a barge to make an artificial reef somewhere, or cut me up for scrap.
"I would like some parts of me made available for those who would like a remembrance of the good times, great fishing, the wonderful memories I have been a part of. "
The Pier went on, "It's been really great to stand here all of these years and watch over my City. Years and years of sunrises and sunsets. It's a pretty good gig ya know. I get to see older couples stroll hand in hand, to be a part of weddings, only to see them returning in a few years with their children."
“I get to help boaters find their way to the marina and pilots to the airport. I get to watch my City grow and prosper. I love this place...and I know it loves me." "I'll really miss the people."
There was a long pause...I really did not know what to say....
Then the Pier said, "Doc?" "Yeah", I replied.
The Pier kind of chuckled, "I think you got a bite."
"After you clean that fish, why don't come on up for a drink and a sunset. The drinks' on you... but the sunset is on me."
"And by the way, if you Post this, can you use a real pretty picture? I need all the help I can get"
e-mail Doc at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a Facebook Friend request.
Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg
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